Update from the President (Andrew Chai):
- Transition Activities
- The Staff Senate leadership for 2020-21 will be Kori Lennon as Staff Senate President and Joanna Thompson as Staff Senate President-elect. Elections for Senators are in progress. Continuing Senators will receive a call for nominations to run as committee chairs.
- The current Staff Senate President and President-elect are preparing the State of the Staff Senate report, which will be shared with the Staff Senate, the UCC, and other shared governance committees. This report will outline the accomplishments of the Staff Senate for this academic year and will inform planning efforts for next year.
- Staff Town Hall Meetings
- Town Hall meetings will not continue on a weekly basis. The hope is that the COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Working Group teams will develop communication plans that will keep the campus community informed and updated.
- UCC Charter Amendment Update
- This UCC Charter amendment would increase staff and student representation on the committee. The UCC would then be composed of three faculty, two staff and one student. To date, the amendment has been approved by the UCC, Faculty Senate Council, and ASG. The Staff Senate will vote on this amendment at the June meeting.
- COVID-19 Resilience & Recovery Working Group, Operations Team
- The Operations Team is vetting different modality and scheduling scenarios for the fall and is soliciting staff feedback on the possible option of having the fall quarter start two weeks earlier, thus allowing the quarter to be completed by Thanksgiving. Please forward comments and feedback to Andrew Chai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WASC Update (Ed Ryan, VP for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness and Chair of the WASC Working Group):
- Ed reported on the two-year reaffirmation (i.e., re-accreditation) process the University is currently undergoing (for additional information see November Staff Senate Minutes). On March 12, a team of faculty and administrators from other institutions met off-site to review and provide initial feedback on SCU’s self-study report. The team provided commendations and lines of inquiry on SCU’s report and requested additional data. The accreditation visit is scheduled for October 6-9, 2020, but this visit may occur virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WASC Working Group will be scheduling meetings between the accreditation team and key SCU stakeholders, including staff. If staff have any additional questions regarding the accreditation process, please email Ed Ryan at email@example.com.
Addendum to Proposal to Equalize Informal Retirement Benefits:
- This is an addendum to the original proposal to equalize informal retirement benefits that was submitted to the UCC, Staff Affairs, and Benefits Committee in February 2020 (see January Staff Senate Minutes for additional information). This addendum proposes a definition for staff retirement that will only affect informal retirement benefits and would not affect an employee's 401K or any other Roth or IRA accounts. The proposed definition would allow a benefits-eligible employee who has worked 20 consecutive years at SCU to be eligible for the informal benefits, listed in the original proposal, upon retirement. Under this proposal, staff would be afforded any new informal benefits that are added in through future changes. Senators and participants commented that perhaps the years of service should be changed to 10 years to parallel the faculty’s definition for retirement. Based on these comments, the Staff Senate President requested two polls to obtain additional feedback from Senators and staff participants during the meeting.
- Poll 1: Do you approve of the staff retirement definition?
- 55% approved, 31% did not approve, and 13% abstained.
- Poll 2: What should be the number of years for retirement in the Staff Retirement definition?
- 51.9% answered 10 years, 23.6% answered 15 years, 17.9 % answered 10 years, and 6.6% abstained.
- The Staff Senate President will share these poll results with the UCC, Staff Affairs Committee, and Benefits Committee.
Update from Staff Senate Committees:
- Elections and Bylaws Committee (Brian Moon)
- Calls for senator nominations were sent in early May. Elections are taking place for those departments where more than one person accepted the nomination. Send any questions about department representation or the election process to the Staff Senate Elections & Bylaws Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Events and Service Committee (Leah Nakasaki-Peterson)
- The Get Up and Move! Zoom event held on May 20th was a big success. There were 40 participants, and the Committee has received positive feedback. The Committee is considering hosting another event.
- Communications Committee (Sergio Lopez)
- Sergio thanked committee members for their work this year and encouraged current and new Senators to volunteer for this committee next year. He stressed that the work done by this committee is strategic to the mission of the Staff and enhances communication across the university.
Update from the President-Elect (Kori Lennon):
- Kori and 2020-2021 Staff Senate President-Elect Joanna Thompson, have started planning for next year, focusing on: staff morale, recruitment of senators, and constituent engagement. If staff have any thoughts regarding planning priorities for next year, please send your ideas to email@example.com.
Conversation with President Kevin O’Brien and Provost Lisa Kloppenberg:
- President O’Brien and Provost Kloppenberg expressed their gratitude and appreciation to all staff who have stepped up to serve and carry out the University’s mission and work during this unprecedented crisis. They have been impressed with the creative approaches staff have used to carry out their work remotely, and their dedication to the welfare and well-being of SCU students.
- Although the virtual environment makes the shared governance system more challenging to navigate, President O’Brien and Provost Kloppenberg encouraged staff to keep speaking up and raising their concerns.
- Future issues that SCU will face:
- The impact of the pandemic on university budgets — At the same time, we continue to invest in key priorities, such as student access and affordability and our environmental justice initiative. There is a continued need to make mission and diversity and inclusion priorities. We plan to continue the searches for the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Vice President for Mission and Ministry.
- The challenging recruiting environment for students, with rising tuition costs and declining demographics of 18 year olds in the next few years.
- A quickened pace of innovation — SCU has had to quickly adapt and respond to the challenges caused by COVID-19 by creating new and innovative ways to teach and work remotely. The University will have to continue to find new options for delivering curriculum to students; possibilities include growing hybrid delivery options (online and in-person) and growing graduate and non-degree programming.
- Continue support for employees as they balance working and teaching remotely with personal obligations.
- Continuing to build relationships with Silicon Valley companies and community partners to enhance learning opportunities for students through internships, jobs, and mentorship opportunities.
The May 21st meeting minutes are saved on the Staff Senate Google Drive.
SCU's Staff Senate would like to congratulate Joanna Thompson for being elected Staff Senate President-Elect!
Joanna is Director of the Office for Multicultural Learning on campus and will be celebrating her two year anniversary at SCU this September.
Joanna lives by a personal mantra she learned from her dad: "The impossible is possible."
After being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 13 (Non-Hodgkin's Disease), Joanna has been in remission since 2002. As a cancer survivor, she lives by this saying as it is a daily reminder that you can push through anything!
If you were unable to attend the Virtual Vigil for Racial Justice hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion last Tuesday, June 2nd, below is a link to view the recording:
Virtual Vigil for Racial Justice Recording
For more information and how to get involved, please visit the Office of Diversity and Inclusion's Racial Justice Resources page.
Are you volunteering somewhere and you’d like others to join? Could someone else benefit from resources you’ve found? Do you have gardening tips to share? How about special recipes? Or perhaps you’d simply like to share a photo that captures how you’ve been spending time at home when you’re off the clock?
Bronco Pantry use is at an all-time high and continues to be in need of support. For those interested and able to help, please consider the following options:
- A donation bin is located in the main parking structure behind the Campus Safety Services office, specifically near the ADA parking spaces and the temporary fencing. The bin will be available 24/7 for donation drop-offs of non-perishable food items and toiletries. Most needed items are peanut butter, jelly, lentils, non-perishable microwavable meals, canned items, toothpaste, floss, and deodorant.
- Target eGift Cards can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by selecting the e-mail delivery method. Individual cards of $25, $50, or $100 are preferred. These gifts will be forwarded directly to students in need.
- Safeway Gift Cards can be purchased on our program's Amazon Wishlist. To ensure quick retrieval during the COVID-19 crisis, physical cards will be mailed to Assistant Dean Kimberly Gilkey by selecting "Kim Gilkey's Gift Registry Address" at checkout. Our staff will hand off these gifts directly to the students.
Thank you for your continued support and generosity!
Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 10:30 am
Topic: Transition Activities
Join us, be part of the discussion, and let your voice be heard!
Can't make it? Then submit your questions to StaffSenate@scu.edu
by noon on Monday, June 15, 2020.
Meeting will be held via Zoom.
Link and password will be sent closer to meeting date.